Why not here?

A lot of people already this morning have asked me why Research in Motion didn’t announce its 1,200 person R&D facility in New Brunswick. I think this is a complex question without a five cent answer.

But the political answer is that we are not challenging our provincial government to take the issue of attracting industry seriously enough. And the biggest culprit of this is Al Hogan (I know once again) over at the Times and Transcript.

Here’s today’s We Say:

Day care deal should be better
We Say: Premier Lord tried his best to get the most positive day care deal possible for the province

And if the political pressures from the short-sighted special interests, Shawn Graham, and the feds forced the premier to essentially capitulate, then they have done the province no favours. We’ll have ended up with second best.

The other day it was those ‘damn’ Saint Johners that lost the election for the Premier. Before it was Paul Martin who was holding up the gas tax deal. And on and on.

How many other people can Al Hogan blame for the failings of the government?

How is this related to economic development? I’ll tell you why.

Tomorrow, the editorial pages in New Brunswick should be legitimately asking the question why did Nova Scotia attract RIM? Why has Nova Scotia doubled job growth compared to New Brunswick since 1999? Why has Nova Scotia attracted four times as many immigrants? Why are Nova Scotia residents among the top users of the Internet and New Brunswick is at the bottom (this is very relevant to companies like RIM that want an Internet savvy workforce)?

But they won’t. Al Hogan will either a) ignore it altogether, b) blame the Feds for ‘putting it in Nova Scotia’ or c) launch another spirited defence of the Premier’s economic development policy.

If Al Hogan had any sense (and any legitimacy), he would ask the tough questions. He would probe the tough issues. Then, in turn, a few people might start thinking up in Fredericton that there is something to this thing called economic development.

But he won’t. And they won’t. And we’ll keep reading about RIM in Nova Scotia. And Chrysler in Ontario. And Dell in Edmonton. And Bombardier in Montreal. And so on and so on.